[Libs-Or] What age do you stop requiring a parent/guardian signature? Also, privacy questions.

Suzy Coleman SCOLEMAN at ci.tualatin.or.us
Fri Apr 24 09:30:27 PDT 2015

Hi Kirsten,
You've done a fine job of listing the complexities of cards for teens. Since we use a collection agency for accounts that exceed a certain amount, we do require a parent's signature and educate both parent and teen on their responsibilities. If a parent wants access to their child's card, we can't prevent them from knowing the number and pin and logging into the account from home. That is between the parent and child. We don't give out information about an account to anyone that does not have the card in hand or ID that they are the card holder and that goes for the Teen's account as well. The parent would have to have the card to inquire.
But if an item gets lost or lots of fines accrue on the account, then the parent can inquire about charges. We tell teens if they want to keep their reading history private, to return items on time and pay fines promptly. Teens can also reset their PIN to control online access to their account.
Hope that helps,
Suzy Coleman | Library Access Services Supervisor
Tualatin Public Library
18878 SW Martinazzi Ave
Tualatin OR 97062
503.691-3068 |www.tualatinoregon.gov/library<http://www.tualatinoregon.gov/library>

From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney
Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2015 3:34 PM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: [Libs-Or] What age do you stop requiring a parent/guardian signature? Also, privacy questions.

Hi all,

I've got a question for the hive mind. We have always required a parental signature for all library cards to individuals under 18. The reasoning has always been that individuals under 18 are minors and thus their parents can be held responsible for items that they check out. Of course, this causes problems for us when it comes to getting older teens signed up for cards, and I'm wondering if we're being unnecessarily draconian about it. At what age do you allow a patron to obtain a card without a parent/guardian signature?

Relatedly, do you have a set age at which you no longer provide parents with information about what their child has checked out from the library? At my current library, the policy has been that the parent/guardian who signed off on the card has access to the account, but I've never been 100% comfortable with this as a best practice for older teens. On the other hand, if the parent is ultimately responsible for the materials checked out on the card, then it makes sense that they would have access... At a previous library I worked at, we would not release account information for any child older than twelve, but this created a lot of customer service issues with parents who just wanted to get their kid's card back in good standing.

I'm hoping to hear some good thoughts from you!

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney, MLIS
Library Director
Driftwood Public Library
801 SW Hwy 101, #201
Lincoln City, OR 97367
541-996-1251 (desk)
541-996-1262 (fax)

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